Plateau United coach, Abdul Maikaba is confidence the Jos-based outfit will finish in the top three echelon of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL despite the team’s struggles.
Coach Maikaba who stated this in an exclusive interview attributed the team’s struggle to lack of effective preseason preparation and psychological impact of the banishment of the team from Jos to Kwara state and later Nasarawa state.
He however expressed optimism that the team would overcome its current challenges and end the season on the high.
“Actually, we are struggling no doubt. I think the problems started with off season preparation. We tried to have a good preparation at that time but the club lacked fund so it was very difficult for the team to go out of Jos for preseason. There preseason we were not able to partake but there was no money at that time. We played some friendlies then but they were not enough and that is why we started the league poorly drawing 0-0 at home in the opening day of the league.
“With high expectations from Plateau United supporters, not knowing the predicament we are going through, they thought we could just go and workover our opponents and that was why when the first match ended goalless, instead of encouraging the team, they started fighting all over and the result was banishing us from our home ground.
“We struggled all through the three matches we played away from home. Imagine playing your home match away from home, we played one in Ilorin, and the other two in Lafia. We spent about six weeks outside Jos. There was financial implications and others during that period but the team has started picking and trying to adapt to the philosophy I want the team to imbibe.
But the fact is that any time we play in Jos, they find it difficult to express themselves due to pressure.
“I have invited a psychologist to come and talk to them about some topics, confidence and fear of unknown. So many topics that would help them. We are on it and I hope they will get to it. It is a psychological and I believe we will get out of it. It is not too late because if you look at it mathematically, the first team in our group is 10 points ahead of us, so it is possible to be among the top three.
“If a team can play 8 games without losing a game like Akwa United, we can do the same. Out of the 8 games remaining, I believe that if we can have good run of 6 weeks unbeaten, top 3 is achievable. We have the quality, we have everything. I hope we can overcome this psychological trauma in the team,” the